Reported Movement In Coaching Search

After the flow of information concerning the search for a new football coach for West Virginia slowed considerably on Thursday and Friday, it appears as if the process could be heading for a resolution.

WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, W. Va. is reporting that the candidacy of Florida State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher is "picking up steam".

While no official offers have been made public or confirmed, Fisher has long been one of the candidates eyed by West Virginia. However, the signing of a contract with Florida State that designated him as the head coach in waiting has tied his hands in terms of speaking with West Virginia or any other school about a job opening.

If the report is accurate, it is expected that the process could gain even more traction, and could be wrapped up by the time West Virginia departs for the Fiesta Bowl. The team is scheduled to arrive in Phoenix at 4:00 p.m. on Dec. 26.

With Christmas falling on Tuesday, that would likely leave Monday as the optimum time for any official announcement. However, at this time, there is no indication of any sort of agreement between Fisher and West Virginia, either officially or in principle.

A 1989 graduate of Salem College (W.Va.), Fisher is a native of Clarksburg, W.Va. and remains good friends with current WVU women's basketball coach Mike Carey, also a former Salem coach and player. Fisher is in his first season at Florida State after spending seven seasons as the offensive coordinator for LSU under West Virginia native Nick Saban, now the head coach at Alabama, and current Tigers' coach and Michigan alum Les Miles.

Fisher also worked at Samford, where former WVU (1970-75) and current Florida State (1976-Present) head coach Bobby Bowden began his head coaching career in 1959. He was a graduate assistant there before becoming the offensive coordinator from 1991-92. He then coached under Terry Bowden at Auburn, helping lead the Tigers to an undefeated season in 1993. He remained there until 1998, when Bowden left AU, and coached one season at Cincinnati before joining Saban, and now Miles, at LSU. Considered a prolific offensive mind, Fisher has the major college experience ideal for a first-year head coach at the BCS level. He has coached three players selected in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft, including No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell, and coached five quarterbacks in seven years at LSU that were NFL draft picks (Josh Booty, Rohan Davey, Craig Nall, Matt Mauck and JaMarcus Russell).

The Tigers posted a 70-20 record and went to seven bowl games with Fisher as offensive coordinator. The 70 wins are the most over any seven-year stretch in LSU history as were the seven consecutive bowl games. While Fisher was at LSU, the Tigers won two SEC titles and played in three BCS Bowl games including winning the national title in the 2004 Nokia Sugar Bowl. He was named a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award in 2001 as the nation's top assistant coach and led LSU to school records for points, passing TD's and yards in a season in 2003. His LSU offenses hold 13 school records. And even at Cincinnati, a school with considerably less talent, Fisher pieced together the 16th ranked offense in the NCAA. Fisher also played quarterback for Terry Bowden at Salem College for two seasons (1984-85) and at Samford in 1987 and set the school record at Samford with 34 passing touchdowns and was named the Division III National Player of the Year in 1987.


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